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Valcambi Gold CombiBars are a product of Valcambi, a wholly-owned subsidiary of European Gold Refineries Holding SA (ERG). This gold bar is incredibly unique in the world of precious metals bullion – the 50-gram CombiBar, also known as the gold “chocolate bar”, can be easily broken by hand into 1-gram squares.
“For many people a pure investment product is no longer enough. They want to be able to do something with the precious metal.”
– Michael Mesaric, CEO of Valcambi
Development, History and Introduction
Valcambi & Cambi was founded in 1961 and became a Swiss corporate giant Credit Suisse subsidiary in 1967.
Between 1967 and 2003, Valcambi produced both cast and minted bars for and under the name of Credit Suisse. Valcambi was actually the first accredited refiner to manufacture a 1000-gram gold bar. Mostly found in Italy and extremely rare, some bars from this period do bear the name VALCAMBI.
The EGR was established in 2003 as a combination of the Swiss Valcambi and the Colorado-based Newmont Mining Corporation. Since that time, a new official stamp for Valcambi has been applied to cast and minted bars.
The innovative CombiBar was introduced in April 2011. The 50-gram gold investment bar is actually comprised of 50 individual 1-gram bars, each easily detachable into high-quality, standalone bars.
Designed to fit into a wallet, each Gold CombiBar comes in a plastic holder with an assay card. This is necessary because .9999 fineness gold is incredibly malleable and could be damaged by being placed directly into a wallet.
Valcambi Gold CombiBar Physical Characteristics
Design is the most unique and distinguishing aspect of CombiBars. In part, the bar is designed to be divisible into smaller denominations to be used as money during a financial crisis.
Valcambi has an exclusive license to produce Combibars and mints the 1-gram gold bars in the DIN A8 format. Each individual 1-gram bar is minted with the weight (1 g), fineness (999.9), the Valcambi logo as well as the name VALCAMBI.
Near the base of each individual 1-gram Gold CombiBar appears a rectangular box with the French words CHI ESSAYEUR FONDEUR, which loosely translates to “assayer founder.” This is the official stamp of the refinery, and serves as a guarantee of the quality of each bar. The words are in French because Switzerland does not have an official language.
The back of the 50-gram bar features the diamond-shaped Valcambi logo as well as the words valcambi suisse, 50 g fine gold and 999.9. Each reverse side also contains a unique serial number.
On request to Valcambi, the CombiBar can be customized by an individual buyer. These changes to can be made to “Client’s obverse and reverse design wishes, provided that the presence of compulsory marks is ensured and the design respects the rules of the Swiss customs in regard to the Value Added Tax” according to the company website.
The 50-gram bar was sized to be able to fit into a credit card slot in a typical wallet. They are 74.00 mm wide, 52.50 mm tall and 0.85 mm thick. When still intact, a Valcambi Gold CombiBar weighs 1.607 ounces.
All CombiBars are .9999 fine gold (99.99% gold content).
Valcambi Gold CombiBar Pricing
Unlike bullion coins, gold bars are not used as legal tender, and therefore carry no transactional value. Valcambi Gold CombiBars were intended as an alternative to both traditional gold bars and coins; those wanting larger, cost-effective bullion could leave the CombiBar intact, while those looking for smaller, more transportable gold could simply break off up to 50 separate 1-gram bars.
Gold does not lose value when divided into smaller segments, unlike a commodity like diamonds. As long as quality is not compromised in the process, 50 1-gram pieces of gold will hold the same vale as 1 50-gram gold sheet.
The mintage costs of gold bars can be much lower than the minting cost of gold coins. THis means that their market price (value of the bar determined by the value of the gold content plus shipping and production costs) tends to be very close to the spot price (trading value) of gold. Further still,the minting costs of one 50-gram Valcambi Gold CombiBar is less than, say, minting 5 individual 10-gram bars or 50 individual 1-gram bars.
The market price is used to determine the value of a CombiBar inside of an investment portfolio. Since the gold prices fluctuate daily, the value of Valcambi Gold CombiBars will also fluctuate daily. Most major newspapers report the daily price of gold, making the value easy to track.
Investing in Valcambi Gold CombiBars Through an IRA
The IRS allows Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) that meet specific requirements to carry precious metals bullion as an investment in a portfolio. These are often referred to as “precious metals IRAs.”
Precious metals IRAs are self-directed and may only contain IRS-approved bullion. Qualifying precious metals include certain gold, silver, platinum and palladium bars and coins.
Valcambi Gold Combibars are one of the authorized bullion for IRA investing. By placing real, physical gold inside of an IRA, Valcambi Gold CombiBars meet the minimum purity requirements as set forth in Internal Revenue Code Section 408(b).
For IRA investing, the owner must make an initial purchase of at least $5,000 worth of qualifying bullion to establish a precious metals IRA. All subsequent purchases must be at least $1,000. When an investor makes a purchase of Valcambi Gold CombiBars (or any IRA-approved metal), the IRS further requires that all coins and/or bars be held in a qualifying “depository.” The depository is responsible for the security and maintenance of the bullion.
Those with an existing IRA have the option of transferring or rolling over funds into a precious metals IRA.
Valcambi Gold CombiBars can be purchased through reputable dealers across the world or directly through the Valcambi website. The only way to order custom-designed Valcambi Gold CombiBars is via valcambi.com.
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